Combination Therapy for Severe Asthma

Monica Kraft, MD


March 03, 2021

Patients with severe asthma often experience symptoms and exacerbations that can interfere with daily life and further compromise lung function.

These patients often need combination therapy to achieve optimal control. This typically includes a low-dose inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) plus a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA).

For some patients, however, adherence to these therapies will not result in optimal outcomes.

Dr Monica Kraft, of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, discusses additional therapeutic options for these patients, which include increasing the dose of ICS or adding an oral corticosteroid such as prednisone or methylprednisolone.

When treatment-adherent patients are still unable to maintain control of their asthma symptoms, it may be optimal to move to biologic therapy.

There are currently five available biologics that work against IgE, IL-4/IL-13, IL-5, and IL-5R. Biomarker testing for blood eosinophils, exhaled nitric oxide, and serum IgE can help determine which biologic is best suited to each individual patient.


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